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Flag of Cornwall Porth Kernow a'gas dynnargh!
Welcome to the Cornwall Portal!
Satellite image of Cornwall

Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county of England, United Kingdom, located at the tip of the south-western peninsula of Great Britain. It is bordered to the north by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , covering an area of [convert: needs a number], and its administrative centre and only city is Truro.


Cornwall during the time of the Celts was a part of the Brythonic area of Britain, separated from Wales after the Battle of Deorham. The Kingdom of Cornwall often came into conflict with the expanding Saxon kingdom of Wessex, before the boundary between English and Cornish people was set at the Tamar. The Cornish language continued to be spoken until the 18th century, although a recent revival has seen the number of Cornish speakers increasing over the past few decades.

Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and diaspora, and is considered one of the six "Celtic nations" by many residents and scholars. Cornwall continues to retain its distinct identity, with its own history, language and culture. Cornwall's economy struggles after the decline of the mining and fishing industries, and has become dependent on tourism. The area is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its extensive and varied coastline, home to a variety of flora and fauna, as well as its mild climate.

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The Cornish language (Kernewek) is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom, spoken in Cornwall. The language was the main language of Cornish people up until around the 17th century when it started to retreat westwards. The language had essentially died out by the late 18th century, but academic interest and a revival of Cornish identity prompted a move to revive the language. The revival continues to this day, and has been largely successful, with there now being over 2,000 speakers.

The revival of Cornish received its first major boost in 1904 when Henry Jenner, a Celtic language enthusiast, published his book Handbook of the Cornish Language. In his work he observed, "There has never been a time when there has been no person in Cornwall without a knowledge of the Cornish language." Jenner's pupil, Robert Morton Nance, created the first standardised orthography for Cornish, Unified Cornish, which was in use until the 1980s, when both academic scrutiny and an increasing number of speakers led to the system being deemed insufficient. A number of new orthographies were devised and used during the later part of the 20th century, until a Standard Written Form was agreed in 2008.

The official body for the language is the Cornish Language Partnership. Many Cornish language textbooks and works of literature have been published over the decades, and an increasing number of people are studying the language. Recent developments include Cornish music, independent films and children's books. A small number of children in Cornwall have been brought up to be bilingual native speakers, and the language is taught in many schools. Cornish gained official recognition under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2002.

Selected biography

"King Mark of Cornwall", illustrated by Howard Pyle (1905)

Mark of Cornwall was a king of the Kingdom of Cornwall in the early 6th century. He is most famous for his appearance in Arthurian legend as the uncle of Tristan and husband of Iseult, who engage in a secret affair behind his back.

Legend says that Mark sent Tristan as his proxy to fetch his young bride, the Princess Iseult from Ireland. Tristan and Iseult fall in love, and, with the help of a magic potion, proceed to have a stormy love affair. Mark suspects of the affair and eventually, his suspicions are confirmed. In some versions, he sends for Tristan to be hanged, and Iseult to a leper colony. Tristan escapes the hanging and rescues Mark's bride from her confinement, later to be discovered by Mark. Mark eventually forgives them, with Isolde returning to Mark and Tristan leaving the country.

In the Prose Tristan, Mark's character deteriorates from a sympathetic cuckold to a downright villain. He rapes his niece and then murders her when she produces his son, Meraugis, and he murders his brother Baldwin as well. In earlier versions of the story Tristan dies in Brittany, far away from Mark, but in the Prose Tristan Mark stabs Tristan while he plays the harp under a tree for Iseult. Though this version of Mark's character was popular in other medieval works, including the Romance of Palamedes and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, modern versions of the Tristan and Iseult legend tend to take their inspiration from the older poetic material, and Mark becomes a sympathetic character once again. In these legends Mark is usually seen as ruling Cornwall from Tintagel Castle.

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Photo credit: Mammal4

Lamorna, a small fishing village in the south of the Penwith peninsula, was immortalised in the folk song of the same name. The stone for the old London Bridge was quarried here.

Did you know?

Monkey Puzzle tree

Selected quote

John Prescott
Cornwall has the strongest regional identity in the UK
John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister from 1997 - 2007

Things you can do

Things you can do


  • Create Articles for listed buildings in Cornwall.
  • Create Articles for conservation areas in Cornwall.
  • Create Articles for public parks in Cornwall.
  • Create Articles for historic sites, particularly hill-forts.

Flora and Fauna



  • Create Articles for notable Cornish politicians.
  • Expand Alfred Aaron de Pass and add more info on him to the institutions he donated art and money to in Cornwall (RIC, Falmouth Gallery etc.
  • Create Articles for notable Cornish artists.


  • Create Articles for local groups and charities.
  • Create Articles for notable art galleries.

History, Language, Culture and Art


  • Add more Simple English versions of Cornwall-related articles to Simple English Wikipedia.
  • Illustrate the new Russian article Корнцы if you can work with Russian Cyrillic script
  • Translate the Cornish Wikipedia article Skriforyon yn Kernowek into English
  • Translate the Cornish Wikipedia article Can an Pescador Kernûak (Song of the Cornish Fisherman) into English.

Other projects

Recognised content

Featured articles

Main page featured articles

Featured lists

Good articles





Economy and demographics





Wikipedia in Cornish

Flag of Cornwall Wikipedya yn Kernewek

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides




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  1. ^ Jenkins also wrote Cornish verse: Ellis, P. Berresford (1974) The Cornish Language and its Literature. London: Routledge; pp. 110-11
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